Violin Pedagogy I - Drexler Rev.

Left Hand Checklist Nikkia Hall 10/17/11

Left Hand Checklist
Prepare violin with high dot, add 1st finger tape when student begins using the 1st finger, add 3rd finger tape when the student begins using the 3rd finger Preparing the left hand:  Draw Magic X on the left hand (thumb side of the 1st finger at the base of the finger)  Draw a line across the base of the first finger (optional)  Wave Magic X hand  Slide Magic X lightly up and down the neck of the violin, keeping the thumb and 1st finger in contact with the neck (both in rest position and playing position), hand moves as a unit, especially watch the thumb  Rest hand over high dot  Slowly slide left hand down toward the scroll, keeping the thumb and 1st finger gently in contact with the neck at all times, until the thumb and Magic X are lined up parallel with the 1st finger tape  Check that the knuckles are level with the fingerboard (palm of left hand makes a small V)  Make sure the wrist hangs relaxed under the violin, not bent in any direction  Keep the elbow hanging over the left foot  Left hand fingers should be curved loosely over the strings  Tap thumb on 1st finger tape, making sure it is pointing straight up at the ceiling Placing the 1st finger:  Tap 1st finger on 1st finger tape, be sure thumb and Magic X are not squeezing  When placing the 1st finger, tap a few times quickly (like the string is “hot”) and then drop from the base of the finger onto string as lightly as possible, touching just enough to produce the note  Balance (hover) the 3rd finger over the 3rd finger tape  Tap thumb while 1st finger is down (the hand should not stay static as this will produce tension) Placing the 2nd finger (1st finger remains down):  Tap 2nd finger a whole step higher than 1st finger (close to 3rd finger tape)  Gently place 2nd finger, as lightly as possible on the string  Make sure the left hand and fingers are balanced with a natural shape/curve  Keep 3rd finger balanced/hovered over 3rd finger tape  Tap thumb Placing the 3rd finger (1st and 2nd fingers remain down):  Tap 3nd finger on the 3rd finger tape  Gently place the 3rd finger as lightly as possible on the string  Make sure the left hand and fingers are balances with a natural shape/curve  Tap thumb Picking up the fingers (1st, 2nd & 3rd fingers are down):  Release (lift) and relax the 3rd finger, keeping 1st and 2nd fingers down  Check that hand is loose (teacher can wiggle 3rd finger to keep relaxed)  Tap thumb  Repeat with 2nd and 1st finger Placing 1st, 2nd & 3rd fingers on the descending A Major scale:  Play open E  Stop and roll bow to A  Silently place 1-2-3 (walk up the string) so all the fingers are set in place before continuing down the scale 3-Finger Plop:  When physical memory of finger spacing is solid, “plop” all 3 fingers down together in one motion

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